What are Catch-all Emails and how should you manage them?

What Are Catch All Emails?

04/05/2022 in Email Checker

What Are Catch All Emails?

Catching-all emails theoretically sound like a great idea but in the long run, they are not good for your email listing. What is the issue here? Continue reading on to learn more about this phenomenon.

Catch-all emails mean that the businesses get all the emails that are sent to their domains even if the address is invalid. This also lets the businesses get the emails that are important and would have remained undelivered otherwise. As the invalid email addresses are also included in this it means that the email lists that are created would run into issues as not all emails will be valid. Also in the long run you will once again be at the mercy of ISP like Yahoo and Gmail. 

Managing such emails is no issue at all and you will get a sigh of relief once it is done. You must monitor the catch-all email addresses as the effects could be devastating if it is not done. If the idea has left you intrigued then do not worry at all as in this article. We will explain the purpose and how to manage the catch-all email addresses. 

So what are catch-all email addresses?

These are also known as wild card email addresses and these belong to the catch-all email server. It means that any email sent to the domain name is caught by this email address. By any email address, we also mean the nonexistent ones. If there is a typo error or even the addresses that are not configured can also get the emails to land on such servers. 

For instance, if your catch-all email address is yourdomain.com then apart from the emails that are given to employees the catch-all inbox could be contact@yourdomain.com. It means that all the invalid emails will end up in this inbox. You might be thinking about the purpose of emails addresses then but catch-all email servers are made with the best intentions.

Why Do Companies Need Catch-all Email Addresses?

Companies use such email addresses to make sure that all the emails that are directed to their domain are delivered for sure. It is also a means of not missing important updates. For the e-commerce stores, this idea becomes all the more important as they do not want to miss leads or queries that are directed to the support team.

When emails are sent to a catch-all email address that does not exist these are forwarded to the support box. This has been created specifically for this purpose. Businesses check these mailboxes periodically to see if any important email has landed. 

This sounds like a great idea but actually, these inboxes are heaven for spammers. Due to unsolicited emails being forwarded to such addresses it is important to note that businesses have started paying less attention to such inboxes. 

How common are these emails?

We have got all the data for you to make sure that you get an insight on the subject in great detail. As per the data verified by MailerCheck about 8.6% of the emails land in catch-all mailboxes. If the median value is calculated the percentage jumps up to 15.25%. It means that there are 541 catch emails on all the listings. The interesting fact here is that majority of such emails are found on smaller lists. It means that not only these emails are easy to ignore but the businesses have stopped giving attention to such mailboxes as well. One more interesting fact is that there is no way to know if a subscriber belongs to catch-all email groups. 

Pros of Keeping Catch-all Emails

These email addresses are still maintained by a lot of businesses. As there is no way to tell that the sender is a bot or a real person, removing these mailboxes is a grave mistake and should never be done. 

These might be the real customers interested in your product or services and want to become paying customers. If they are subscribers then they are contributing to your open rates and adding to your sending reputation. Whatever the reason is your business must keep such mailboxes to keep an eye on important content that is sent to the business domain.

Cons of Keeping Catch-all Emails

Though the pros are compelling some disadvantages will make you think about not keeping the catchall mailboxes and ignore the idea altogether. 

As a marketer, it is detrimental to your sender’s reputation. If an email ends up in a catch inbox then it means it is never viewed leading to decreased open rates and hampering your marketing efforts. 

Even though the catch-all emails are delivered there is still a chance of bounce rate. Businesses might change the settings to receive a specific number of emails to the catch-all address and it can also be changed later on. Limiting the catch-all rate can once again result in a hard bounce that will jeopardize your marketing efforts altogether. 

The email service providers also use this rate to determine whether or not you can continue using their services. If the bounce rate is too high then your account might get terminated instantly. As such email service providers do not want to put their reputation at stake. 

The factors that influence the above points are whether or not the catch-all emails are valid or invalid. It also depends on the fact that whether or not the email list is clean. The good thing is that there are simple ways to find out. 

How to verify your catch-all emails

How to verify your catch-all emails?

Clear your head – the email landing on catch-all boxes cannot be verified at all. It means that there is no way to find out the validity of the email sent to the catch-all inbox. There is no SMTP check involved that would validate what is going on in the inbox.

The only way to find out about the issue is to use a state-of-the-art email verification tool. It will make sure that only those addresses are added to your valid mailing lists. 

Step 1: Check your email List

If you have built your email list from the scratch manually using time and effort. You have used the email verification tool in real-time to sort out the emails. You have removed the shady email addresses from the list. Then there is a chance that most of the catch-all emails on your list are valid and you own a clean email listing, which is a job well done from your side. Use opt-in or double opt-in to make sure that the email list remains clean throughout.

Learn to create opt-in forms that comply with GDPR

If you have purchased the list from someone then it is a good idea to either validate it or refine it. As you do not know who the owner of the email address is. You also do not know whether they are interested in your product or services. Whatever the reason is purchasing an email listing is not a good idea at all. Use an email validation tool such as MailerCheck to keep all the correct and up-to-mark email addresses on your list. Do not fall into spam traps or get into trouble with other issues by purchasing email addresses as this is not a good practice at all. 

Step 2: Testing is the Key to Success

Once the email address has been validated and the catch-all email addresses are segregated all the addresses must be tested. It means that the test campaigns can be run using temporary emails to get an idea about the bounce rate. The detailed reporting in this regard will get you a clear picture that which addresses you should go for on your catch-all email lists. Alternatively, you can run real campaigns and add a chunk of catch-all emails in every batch you send emails to. This will keep the bounce rate low and will ensure that you keep the mail services such as Gmail and Yahoo happy.


Though the catchall emails might be a trouble for you you know how to deal with the situation now. It means that you are well equipped with the knowledge. And ready to go with your next campaign even if there are catchall email addresses on the list. You will get the best and the most ideal results of the campaigns that you run. It will ultimately increase your sender’s reputation as well.